Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist. She worked in a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.
The sixth child of a preacher's family in North Carolina, Simone aspired to be a concert pianist. Her musical path changed direction after she was denied a scholarship to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, despite a well-received audition. "Simone said she later found out from an insider at Curtis that she was denied entry because she was black."
To fund her continuing musical education and become a classical pianist, she began playing in a small club in Atlantic City where she was also required to sing.
She was approached by Bethlehem Records, and her rendition of "I Love You, Porgy" was a hit in the United States in 1958. Over the length of her career Simone recorded more than 40 albums, mostly between 1958, when she made her debut with Little Girl Blue, and 1974.
Simone's bearing and stage presence earned her the title "High Priestess of Soul." She was a piano player, singer, and performer, "separately and simultaneously." As a composer and arranger, Simone moved from gospel to blues, jazz, and folk, and to numbers with European classical styling.
She injected her classical background into her music as much as possible to give it more depth and quality, as she felt that pop music was inferior to classical.
Her intuitive grasp on the audience–performer relationship was gained from a unique background of playing piano accompaniment for church revivals and sermons regularly from the early age of six years old.
Simone was known for her temper and numerous anger management issues. In 1985, she fired a gun at a record company executive whom she accused of stealing royalties. Simone said she "tried to kill him" but "missed." In 1995, she shot and wounded her neighbor's son with an air gun after the boy's laughter disturbed her concentration.
Simone took medication for a condition from the mid-1960s on. All this was only known to a small group of intimates, and kept out of public view for many years, until the biography Break Down and Let It All Out written by Sylvia Hampton and David Nathan revealed this in 2004 after her death.
If you haven't seen her biography movie, please watch it. You'll be able to get a better appreciation for this great talent. This woman lived during some big racist times in American history. If she desired, she could have sung the comfy songs as to not upset the status quo and live a very comfortable life.
She did the complete opposite. Most of her songs were overcome songs aimed at getting people to think about the wrongs of racism. Why did she do this? She did it for us, plain and straightforward. Her husband-manager was fearful that nobody would want to hire her because of her choice of songs. She didn't let that stop her.
Our favorite song was"Mississippi Damn." I provided a link below for those who want to hear it. What a remarkable Hamite! We love you Nina and award you with the 2003 Hamite Award. You will not be forgotten.
Serena Williams was the first African-American to win a Career Grand Slam in tennis
Dennis Archer was the first African-American American Bar Association president
Barry Bonds photo #101-yr-1994
Sports in 2003
January 26, 2003 - 91st Women's Australian Open: Serena Williams beats Venus Williams (7-6, 3-6, 6-4
June 23, 2003 - Baseball's Barry Bonds becomes the first player in Major Baseball League history to accomplish 500 career home runs and 500 career steals.
July 4, 2003 - Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers Basketball team is arrested for sexual assault.
July 16, 2003 - Serena Williams and Lance Armstrong win the 11th ESPY Award.
December 22, 2003 - Isiah Thomas of the New York Knicks is hired as President of Basketball Operations.
Did you know you came from an amazing race of people who cared for you? It's true. The amazing accomplishments of our ancestors are recorded on this website. Years ago as slaves it was illegal for slaves to read and write, and a felony for anyone caught teaching them.
The slavemaster wanted to keep them ignorant so they wouldn't organize and rebel against their authority. He was able to dominate blacks in this way. The slavemaster understood the power of education.
Sadly today too many of our own have not learned how truly important it is to learn. Some may look at education as a white thing and to pick up a book as a sellout. Has any ignorant person ever made you feel that way? If so, you should run away as fast as you can from a person like this. You will meet him in a few years while he's pushing a shopping cart around town.
Education and learning are not white; it's a gift for all humanity. Read at all cost; it will add a new dimension to your life, bringing a whole new world you never knew existed. Your ancestors made it all possible for you.
President George W. Bush
Political Scene in 2003
2003 - George W. Bush served as the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He was elected president in 2000 after a close and controversial election, becoming the fourth president to be elected while receiving fewer popular votes nationwide than his opponent. incumbent Vice President Al Gore was on the losing end.
2003 - a coalition led by the U.S. invaded Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein, in which U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair accused him of possessing weapons of mass destruction and having ties to al-Qaeda. Saddam's Ba'ath party was disbanded and elections were held. Following his capture on 13 December 2003,
the trial of Saddam took place under the Iraqi Interim Government.
The year 1877 was the worst year for American Blacks
A good foundation means everything when attempting to build and the newly freed Negro just didn't have one. When slaves first tasted freedom in the emancipation, they wanted to assimilate into American culture very badly. They wanted to build and live their lives in harmony with their white American brothers.
There were over four million former slaves who were uneducated and illiterate without any life skills whatsoever. During slavery it was illegal and a felony for anyone caught teaching them to read and write. They were not independent like you and me, but depended on others to provide the necessities of life.
The United States government wanted to help the former slaves and assisted by providing Reconstruction aid which meant education, medical, housing, etc. Imagine the joy in these former slaves heart. The schools were consistently packed with Negroes trying to better themselves. Happiness was all around! Finally! Thanks, America, we will prove we can do it! YEAH! This was the general attitude of the Negro.
Sadly, this joy was very short lived because the United States government stopped aid after a few short years because of pressure by racist whites. This totally uncaring and un-American decision was called the 1877 Compromise, with many Negroes calling it the 1877 Grand Betrayal.
Although the Negro was now free, he would have to make do the best way he knew how, without any help whatsoever from the government who put him in slavery in the first place. These people became downtrodden, uneducated nomads living in a hateful white racist world, and because of future laws (Jim Crow) further restricting their rights would remain this way until the 1960s Civil Rights movement.
A good foundation only was not laid with blacks assimilation into American culture. Many blacks were understandably demoralized, angry and defeated for many years. The weaker ones continue to be so until this day and still hold a grudge that hurts themselves more than anybody else.
Now ones like Mr. Lewis who is pictured above understood his amazing African American heritage, and the many examples of black success stories he went on to model his life after. This helped him because he had a good foundation to build on. Study your incredible history that's included in this website and grow because it really is a thing of extraordinary beauty.
Movies in 2003
Bitter Jester - a documentary (Richard Pryor)
I Ain't Dead Yet, #* %$@!! - a documentary short film about and featuring comedian Richard Pryor.
September 27, 2002 - Actress Halle Berry announces her separation from R&B singer Eric Benet.
Famous Birthdays in 2003
February 14, 2003 - Sayeed Shahidi is an American child actor and model.
August 28, 2003 - Quvenzhané Wallis is an American actress. She is known for her role as Hushpuppy in the critically acclaimed drama film Beasts of the Southern Wild.
- photo #106-yr-1927
Lawrence Eugene Doby
The Great Barry White
Famous Deaths in 2003
January 23, 2003 - Nell Carter was an American singer and actress. She won a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway musical Ain't Misbehavin'.
March 2, 2003 - Hank Ballard was a rhythm and blues singer and songwriter, the lead vocalist of Hank Ballard and The Midnighters and one of the first rock and roll artists to emerge in the early 1950s.
March 12, 2003 - Cherlynne Theresa "Lynne" Thigpen was an American actress, best known for her role as "The Chief" in the various Carmen Sandiego television series from 1991-1997.
April 1, 2003 - Booker T. Bradshaw born in Richmond, Virginia, was an American record producer, film and TV actor, and Motown executive.
June 11, 2003 - William Horace Marshall was an American actor, director, and opera singer. He is best known for his title role in the 1972 blaxploitation classic Blacula and its sequel Scream Blacula Scream.
June 18, 2003 - Lawrence Eugene Doby was an American professional baseball player in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball (MLB) who was the second black player to break baseball's color barrier.
June 23, 2003 - Nellie Stone Johnson was the first credentialed African-American librarian in
the state of California, and was a librarian at Los Angeles Public Library.
July 4, 2003 - Barry White was a 3-time Grammy Award-winner known for his distinctive bass-baritone voice and romantic image.
July 15, 2003 - Elisabeth Margaret Welch, singer, actress, and entertainer, whose career spanned seven decades.
April 21, 2003 - Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist. She worked in a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. Trivia: Nina's dream was to play classical music, but because of racism she was sidetracked. This is what made her unhappy through-out her career.
August 9, 2003 - Gregory Hines was an African-American actor, singer, dancer and choreographer.
August 23, 2003 - Bobby Lee Bonds was an American right fielder in Major League Baseball from 1968 to 1981, primarily with the San Francisco Giants.
September 28, 2003 - Althea Gibson was an American tennis player and professional golfer, and the first black athlete to cross the color line of international tennis.
October 21, 2003 - Fred Rerun Berry was an American actor and street dancer. He was best known for the role of Fred "Rerun" Stubbs on the popular 1970s television show What's Happening.
November 14, 2003 - Gene Anthony Ray was an American actor, dancer, and choreographer. He was known for his portrayal of dancer Leroy Johnson in both the 1980 film Fame.
December 27, 2003 - Lawrence Cook was an African American actor.
2003 - Kathryn Hall Bogle was an African American journalist in the state of Oregon, she was also the first black woman to hold a state government position in the state.
"It is worthy of emphasis, that the antiquity of the Negro race is beyond dispute. His brightest days were when history was an infant; and, since he early turned from God, he has found the cold face of hate and the hurtful hand of the Caucasian against him." George Washington Williams
How did it begin?
It's a worldwide negative perception of blacks.
Well, a quick and straightforward trip back in history will get the likely answer. The Arab trade of Zanj (Bantu) slaves in Southeast Africa predated the European transatlantic slave trade by 700 years but it wasn't until the Portuguese sailed to West Africa in search of gold and discovered something much more valuable, (slaves) and shared with the world what they encountered that aided in the bad rap on blacks.
During the transatlantic slave trade the African empires of Benin, Dahomey, and Yoruba were very powerful. From these kingdoms, more than from any other part of Africa were the people sold into American slavery.
These kingdoms had many districts with different tribes and clans who always fought against each other. These tribes were illiterate without a written form, passing their history to the next generation orally. They were blissfully ignorant of the world around them. As with all people of a common nature, they lived within the limits and respect of the land and were very content in doing so.
Europeans considered the Africans pagans because most tribes were involved with witchcraft, idol worship, cannibalism, superstition, female genital mutilation, and human sacrifices just to name a few of their foolish practices. Europeans thought of themselves as being illuminators to the world made in the image of God which in their minds was white and holy.
Before Christianity took place in Europe, whites believed in a different form of worship which was called mythology, but in time came to their senses with the help of a man named Thales who would later become known as the father of science. Thales was the first person in human history to dispel mythology and would usher in a new way of thinking which was based on facts which in its beginning was called Natural philosophy, and later would be called science. Science would eventually take mythology's place in the way white people believed. Goodbye Jupiter and Neptune.
Thales studied, recorded and compared facts laying the foundation for science. In time, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle would go on to perfect the methods of science. Over the centuries with this wealth of new knowledge discoveries with the aid of science, you can probably imagine how this had to elevate the Europeans ego and self-worth in themselves.
Before long they would claim white superiority, and many began even to doubt the existence of a God. So by the time the Portuguese made their arrival to Africa, they were only smarter and better educated than the blacks and of course dominated as they pleased.
Africans were still living in the past in a fast changing world and were no match for the very greedy and violent Europeans. Africans had seen the last of their glory days. It's a documented fact the Africans were the beginning of human innovation. Other races would go on to copy and perfect their existing creations, scientifically.
If you study ancient history and technological achievements which were in many ways the equal of, or superior of, much that we have today, were founded and carried to a high technological proficiency by Hamitic (African) people. This is the role in history given by God to the descendants of Ham. The Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Mayans, the Aztecs, all were Hamitic people. They were the great inventors of mankind.http://www.ldolphin.org/ntable.html
Why were the African people a no-show in technological discoveries other nations around the world were experiencing?
It wasn't because Africans weren't capable of learning. Type the key phrase into Google "African immigrants in college" you will discover the same lineage of Sub-Saharan Africans today out-perform all races in America's colleges academically. Skin color doesn't matter when it comes to learning; it was because of conditions beyond their control.
Africans couldn't share and contribute information with other nations during this period because of one humongous roadblock. The Sahara Desert. The entire continental United States would fit inside the Sahara Desert with plenty of room to spare. This desert spanned from west to east of Northern Africa and continued to grow, making it very dangerous and challenging for travel.
Sub Saharan Africans were landlocked, lost in time away from all other humanity. The Sahara Desert wasn't always a desert, but slowly grew to be that way. Cave drawings have been discovered in parts of the Sahara that actually depict the flora as green and thriving. http://self.gutenberg.org/articles/history_of_west_africa
So with Portuguese arriving in Africa with their advanced knowledge they encountered a people lost in time and because of their tribal culture and erroneous Pre-Adamic belief the Portuguese had about black people, these people were labeled ignorant wild beast, incapable of learning and the world agreed.
The Africans had a reputation as a peaceful and lovable people and were considered easy pickings by ruthless and brilliant Europeans who extended no mercy.
With their love for science, whites would constantly compare themselves with blacks. They collectively studied the Negro from the kinks in his hair, size of his brain to the jam in his toenails and declared themselves superior to this lowly ape-like creature.
They believed Africans were the descendants of pre-Adamism races and that the White race was made in the image and likeness of God and that Adam gave birth to the White race only.
They also believed and taught that blacks are not human beings but pre-Adamite beasts and could not possibly have been made in God's image and likeness because they are beastlike, immoral and ugly. Whites also claimed that the pre-Adamite races such as blacks didn't have souls. The world would be satisfied with their scientific theory they learned with the help of a blatant and racist media. Whites accepted these lies as truth and raised their kids to do the same.
Science, pre-Adamite beliefs, and the media would go on to replace common sense. According to whites, it was the destiny of these black beast to serve whites, and they believed they had God's backing. Some of the things they wrote as fact about the Negro would go on to cause many innocent deaths.
More than anything else science, pre-adamite beliefs and the racist media played an enormous role which perpetuated the negative image of blacks all over the world. The saddest part was when many blacks would believe these false teachings and felt unworthy, ugly and completely worthless as human beings and lived their lives in a useless way and the process was reinforcing these negative views.
Once in America the following comment gives insight into how whites viewed the Negro in the 1700s during colonial days.
Speaking on the duties of missionaries in converting the Negro to Christianity in 1784, Bishop Porteus published an extensive plan for the most effectual conversion of the slaves contending that
"despicable as they are in the eyes of man they are, nevertheless, the creatures of God."
When slaves first arrived in America, it wasn't quite agreed what their social status would be because it was supposed to be only temporary until white immigrants could come from other countries to take their place, but it didn't happen that way. This is when slavery slowly became associated with dark skin. Everybody jumped on the bandwagon against the lowly Negro who was considered inhuman and a savage beast.
But because it was later discovered that blacks were capable of learning, it made some bright whites change their negative view, except for white slavemasters who had a financial interest in keeping the Negro uneducated and made it a felony for anyone caught teaching them.
Real Americans soon began to realize blacks were human beings just as they were and started movements to free them from the bondage of slavery.
Writers of that day cite desirable characteristics of blacks, saying they were deeply religious, cheerful, imaginative, patient, courageous, had high physical endurance, affectionate and without vindictiveness, even though living under a brutal slavery system. They hated slavery, but always kept hope alive, waiting for their Judgement Day.
When their Judgement day arrived, how did slaves act once freed?
Imagine if you spent your entire existence depending and working from dusk to dawn for someone else and suddenly set free.
How would you do?
Who would teach you to read and write, the importance of family, morality, open a bank account, manage your money, how to distinguish between necessity and want, how to keep your house maintained, the importance of honesty in personal and business dealings, how to think big and become self-reliant with confidence and the many more life skills that's needed in society? All would agree that these are crucial life skills to master that the Negro didn't have during slavery.
Well, needless to say, many former slaves didn't measure up after freedom, wasting their lives with pleasure seeking and absolutely no ambition at all. These people gave the whole race a bad rap and continued to do so until this day.
But most wanted to learn these life skills and progress. That's why the Reconstruction schools of the 1870s were so important; it was like a halfway or transition house for the blacks into American culture. But of course we know that the U.S. government did away with Reconstruction in 1877 because of pressure from white southerners who didn't want educated blacks in America.
Our achievements have been many since then, so why does the negative image of blacks persist?
It's simple. The negative image of blacks persists around the world because of a lack of compassion and love mainly from non-black people. Even though erroneous beliefs of science and pre-Adamic theories happened centuries ago, hard habits are hard to break. It's entrenched in the hearts of many.
That's really sad, but as American citizens today, how are blacks doing?
Well under the circumstances blacks are doing a fantastic job, and it's a wonder we are still around. We as African-Americans are honing our life skills with increasing precision without the same network or support groups that other races enjoy. We are a unique type of people that don't have a reference point but must learn as we go.
Quite frankly, we are true Americans who continue to accomplish our goals non-violently and completely understand what the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence stands for. Would other races been able to do the same? We are love, always have been and always will be.
Historically, after being raped, tortured, lynched and murdered with perpetrators enjoying total impunity, the usual reply of blacks were these words, "I forgive you." Even though made out to be the violent savage beast, blacks seldom retaliated. It's true, check your history books. We live for today and as Americans realizing we have this excellent opportunity to excel and soar like the eagles, and we will!
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a white officer in the Union army had the task of training colored soldiers in the Civil War. He kept a diary for our enjoyment today. (click here)
George W. Williams - History of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. (click here)
Mauro Mateus dos Santos (April 3, 1973 – January 24, 2003), better known by his stage name Sabotage, was a Brazilian MC. In 2003, the rapper was shot to death in the head and chest four times.
RBL Posse (short for Ruthless by Law) was a 1990s gangsta rap group from Hunters Point in San Francisco, California. Member of the group Hitman was shot and killed while driving in the Hunters Point section of San Francisco.
The Damu Ridas were an assortment of Bloods gang members from South Los Angeles who recorded the Bloods & Crips collaboration albums Bangin' on Wax and Bangin' on Wax 2... The Saga Continues. B-Brazy of Damu Ridas was shot and killed on May 9, 2003.
Jason Johnson (December 9, 1981 - May 19, 2003), also known as Camoflauge, was a U.S. rapper from Hitch Village housing project in Savannah, Georgia. Johnson was gunned down outside of Pure Pain Recording Studio in May 2003.
Onyx is an American hardcore hip hop group from South Jamaica, Queens, New York. The group is composed of East Coast rappers Sticky Fingaz, Fredro Starr and Sonny Seeza. The late Big DS (Marlon Fletcher) was also a member, but left after the group's debut album. Fletcher died from complications of cancer.
Jasun Wardlaw (January 25, 1973 – October 24, 2003) better known by his stage name, Half A Mill was a Brooklyn-based American rapper who was shot and killed in the Albany Projects in Brooklyn, New York on October 24, 2003.
James Adarryl Tapp, Jr. (September 9, 1977 – November 26, 2003), better known by his stage name Soulja Slim, was an American rapper. On November 26, 2003, an unknown gunman shot Tapp four times.
Famous Weddings in 2003
January 11, 2003 - Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs were married.
March 22, 2003 - Big Boi and Sherlita Patton were married.
May 13, 2003 - Dennis Rodman and Michelle Moyer were married.
May 19, 2003 - Michael Jace and April Jace were married.
May 22, 2003 - Kevin Hart and Torrei Hart were married.
June 9, 2003 - C.C. Sabathia and Amber Williams were married.
July 1, 2003 - Evander Holyfield and Candi Calvana Smith were married.
August 2003 - Ivan Sergei and Tanya Sergei were married.
September 8, 2003 - Ginuwine and Sole were married.
November 2, 2003 - Olivia Williams and Rhashan Stone were married.
December 7, 2003 - Mary J. Blige and record producer Kendu Isaacs had a quiet ceremony at her house in Bergen County, New Jersey, conducted by their pastor, none other than Dr. Frederick K.C. Price.
December 31, 2003 - Alaina Huffman and John Henry Huffman were married.
2003 - Malik Yoba and Cat Wilson were married.
2003 - Wesley Snipes and Nikki Park were married.
2003 - Beetlejuice and Babyjuice were married.
2003 - Heather Headley and Brian Musso were married.
2003 - Viola Davis and Julius Tennon were married.
2003 - Reagan Gomez-Preston and Dewayne Tunentine were married.
2003 - Prince Fielder and Chanel Fielder were married.
Famous Divorces in 2003
January 2003 - Mike Tyson and Monica Turner were divorced.
2003 - Idris Elba and Kim Elba were divorced.
2003 - Kurupt and Natina Reed were divorced.
2003 - Kenny Anderson and Tamiyka Lockhart were divorced.
2003 - Mekhi Phifer and Malinda Williams were divorced.
2003 - Beetlejuice and Babyjuice were divorced.
2003 - Dominique Wilkins and Nicole Berry were divorced.
2003 - Chris Tucker and Azja Pryor were divorced.
2003 - Patti LaBelle and Armstead Edwards were divorced.
2003 - Brian McKnight and Julie McKnight were divorced.
Soul Train ran from 1971-2006
Music in 2003
Billboard Top Soul Hits:
"Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)" Erykah Badu featuring Common
"Miss You" Aaliyah
"In da Club" 50 Cent
"Excuse Me Miss" Jay-Z
"Get Busy" Sean Paul
"21 Questions" 50 Cent featuring Nate Dogg
"So Gone" Monica
"Crazy in Love" Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z
"Frontin'" Pharrell featuring Jay-Z
"Baby Boy" Beyoncé featuring Sean Paul
"Stand Up" Ludacris featuring Shawnna
"Step in the Name of Love" R. Kelly
"You Don't Know My Name" Alicia Keys
Popular Soul Dances:
Musical Happenings in 2003:
June 24, 2003 - appearing on the BET Awards, James Brown received the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Michael Jackson, and he would perform with him.
Isaac Hayes was honored as a BMI Icon at the 2003 BMI Urban Awards for his enduring influence on generations of music makers. Throughout his songwriting career, Hayes received five BMI R&B Awards, two BMI Pop Awards, two BMI Urban Awards and six Million-Air citations. As of 2008, his songs generated more than 12 million performances.
A tribute is held to Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a gospel legend, at the Bottom Line Cabaret in New York, featuring performances from the Dixie Hummingbirds, Odetta, and others; the same year, a tribute album is released by MC Records, called Shout, Sister, Shout: A Tribute to Rosetta Tharpe.
Blues Hall of Fame for 2003:
The Blues Hall of Fame is a music museum located in Memphis, Tennessee. Until recently, the "Blues Hall of Fame" was not a physical building, but a listing of people who have significantly contributed to blues music. Started in 1980 by the Blues Foundation, it honors those who have performed, recorded, or documented blues. The actual building for the hall opened to the public on May 8, 2015
BET Awards winners in 2003:
The BET Awards were established in 2001 by the Black Entertainment Television network to celebrate African Americans and other minorities in music, acting, sports, and other fields of entertainment over the past year. Comedian and actress Mo'Nique hosted the show.
Best Female Hip-Hop Artist
Best Male Hip-Hop Artist
Best Gospel Artist
Best Female R&B Artist
Best Male R&B Artist
Jaheim & R. Kelly (Tie)
Best New Artist
Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell & Uncle Charlie Wilson – "Beautiful"
Video of the Year
"Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)"
performed by Erykah Badu feat. Common
B2K feat. Diddy – "Bump, Bump, Bump
Best Female Athlete
Best Male Athlete
Earvin "Magic" Johnson
Lifetime Achievement Award
Grammy winners in 2003:
The 45th Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 23, 2003 at Madison Square Garden, New York City. Musicians accomplishments from the previous year were recognized.
Best Traditional Blues Album
Anthony Daigle & B. B. King (producer & artist) for A Christmas Celebration of Hope
Best Contemporary Blues Album
Joe Henry (producer) & Solomon Burke for Don't Give Up On Me
Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture
Allan Slutsky for Standing in the Shadows of Motown performed by The Funk Brothers & various artists
Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album
John Chelew (producer), & the Blind Boys of Alabama for Higher Ground
Best Gospel Choir or Chorus Album
B.J. Goss (engineer/mixer) for Be Glad performed by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
Best Jazz Instrumental Solo
My Ship-Herbie Hancock
Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group
Doug Doctor, Herbie Hancock & Roy Hargrove for Directions in Music
Best Pop Instrumental Performance
"Auld Lang Syne"-B.B. King
Best Pop Instrumental Album
"Just Chillin'"-Norman Brown
Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
He Think I Don't Know-Mary J. Blige
Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
U Don't Have To Call-Usher
Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
Love's in Need of Love Today-Stevie Wonder & Take 6
Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
What's Going On-Chaka Khan & The Funk Brothers
Best Urban/Alternative Performance
Best R&B Song
Erykah Badu, Madukwu Chinwah, Rashid Lonnie Lynn (Common), Robert Ozuna, James Poyser, Raphael Saadiq & Glen Standridge (songwriters) for "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip Hop)" performed by Erykah Badu featuring Common
Best R&B Album
Alvin Speights (engineer/mixer),& India.Arie (producer & artist) for Voyage to India
Best Contemporary R&B Album
Brian Springer, & Ashanti for Ashanti
Best Female Rap Solo Performance
Scream a.k.a. Itchin-Missy Elliott
Best Male Rap Solo Performance
Hot In Herre-Nelly
Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group
The Whole World-Outkast & Killer Mike
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Dilemma'-Nelly & Kelly Rowland
Best Reggae Album
Jamaican E.T.-Lee 'Scratch' Perry
Best Spoken Word Album
Charles B. Potter (producer) & Maya Angelou for A Song Flung Up to Heaven
Lifetime Achievement Award
Watch for Michael to come from audience at the end of video.
Low-rise jeans and thong whale tail of the 2000s
Young woman in low-rise jeans
Nike Jordan Tennis Shoes
Men's baseball cap
Fashions in 2003
The 2000s fashion are often described as being a "mash-up", where trends saw the fusion of previous styles, global and ethnic clothing (e.g. boho), as well as the fashions of numerous music-based subcultures. Hip-hop fashion generally was the most popular among young people, followed by the unisex indie look later in the decade.
When the 2000s kicked off, the fashion was profoundly influenced by technology. From late 1999 until late 2001, there was a monochromatic futuristic approach to fashion, with metallics, shiny blacks, heavy use of gray, straps, and buckles becoming commonplace. This was called "Y2K fashion". Particular pieces of Y2K clothing included mesh tops, box-pleated skirts, handkerchief tops, satin skirts, leather skirts, concert t-shirts with rhinestones, sparkling shoes, halter tops, and sequinned pants. Girl's fashion trends were oversized sunglasses, aviator sunglasses, oversized hoop earrings, jeans worn for numerous occasions (such as low-rise, boot-cut, fabric accents down the sides, fabric accents sewn into the flares, lace-up sides and tie-dye), wedge flip flops, hot pants, denim jackets, chunky sweaters, pashmina scarves, Skechers, belly shirts, and tube tops. Women wore long-sleeved shirts with bell sleeves, cowl-neck tops, crop tops, Burberry, hoodies, flare jeans, hip-huggers, low rise pants, white jeans, whale tails, cargo pants (especially ones made out of silk, satin, and velvet) hip-hop inspired sweatpants, daisy dukes, thong underwear, and solid bright-colored tights. These fashions remained popular well into the late 2000s. Popular accessories of the early 2000s include white belts, aviator sunglasses, trucker hats, hoop earrings, Mary Janes, leg warmers (worn with mini skirts), ugg boots, flip-flops, jelly shoes, lace-up sandals, newsboy caps, ponchos, and jelly bracelets.
At the very beginning of the decade, the excitement of entering the new millennium had become evident in fashion in the first couple of years, although this was only prominent in nightclub and "going out" attire. Clothing was mostly made in black, though silver was also fashionable. An example of this would be a tracksuit, a dress shirt, a pair of pants, a camp shirt, or a jacket in a fancy metallic pattern for going out; while also compromising of items such as leather coats and pants, puffy vests and jackets, ribbed sweaters and shirts, and chunky dress shoes, usually in futuristic colors such as black, silver, light gray, and white. After the events of 9/11, fashion became more conservative, forgoing the futuristic styles of before. Distressed denim made a comeback, with sandblasted highlights, frosted jeans, ripped jeans, and whiskering becoming commonplace. A lower rise jean had emerged during this part of the decade, effectively getting rid of the high-waisted styles of the 1990s. Light-colored polo shirts (sometimes striped and with collars popped), cargo pants (even ones made out of linen during warmer months), khaki chinos, bootcut jeans, corduroy pants, and rugby shirts. Practical hiking jackets (of the type made by Berghaus), fleeces, puffer jackets, and padded tartan lumberjack-type shirts were worn as winter outerwear along with brown, grey, burgundy, rust, maroon, or forest green turtleneck sweaters, and odd navy blue, stone grey, beige, or natural linen sportcoats that fastened with three buttons. These fashions continued into the mid and late 2000s. Men's Accessories of the early 2000s included white belts, Aviator sunglasses, trucker hats, flip-flops, oxford shoes, argyle socks, sneakers from brands such as Nike, Skechers, Adidas, and Puma, baseball caps (bearing the logos of football, soccer, basketball, and baseball teams), and jelly bracelets.
Youth fashion was strongly influenced by Hip-Hop. The clothing of American hip-hop fans underwent an evolution from the sagging baggy gangster jeans of the late 1990s to a more retro look by the end of the decade. Popular items of clothing included wide leg jeans, baseball jackets,Nike Air Jordans, tracksuits, sweatpants, bucket hats, stunna shades, fur-lined puffer jackets, and flat-brim trucker hats or baseball caps (often retaining the store label). During the early 2000s, many wealthy white jocks and preppies imitated the gangsta lifestyle, eschewing the semi-formal conservative look of the 1980s and 90s in favor of gold bling, expensive designer clothes, sneakers, dark jeans, and sweatpants.
For African-American men, the cornrows (popularized by former NBA player Allen Iverson) and buzz cut were a popular trend that continued into the early 2000s.
"all men are created equal"
The cornerstone of American Principles
But is it true, or just empty words?
Well, once again we have to go back in history to get the likely answer.
Just imagine in your mind what America was going through in it's beginning. Poor European immigrants from around the world braved the mighty oceans traveling to the "New World" for a better life. Anything was better than where they were leaving.
The church had dominated the thinking of Europeans for many years but with the invention of the printing press and sharing of information they slowly began forming their ideas and belief systems independent of the church. One of these beliefs was in social science which taught the Negro was an inferior ape-like creature with no prospect for advancement and whites were superior to them.
Sounds silly I know, but Europeans believed it (and some still do today). They brought these beliefs with them to America. This is the reason whites didn't want anything whatsoever to do with blacks because in their superior way of thinking it would be a step backward to intermingle and share America with people of African descent whom they considered beast like.
Europeans were much smarter and more advanced than Africans. Africans were a tribal people lost in time practicing all sorts of superstitious traditions. Leaders didn't teach their citizens to read or write, and much of African history was lost forever because of this failure. Africans would pass their culture down to the next generation orally.
When Africans finally collided with the Europeans through the slave trade, they were shocked at the degree of hate these people had against them. Europeans loved science because it excused them from a moral conscience they had been burdened with in their practice of religion. So when they raped, pillaged, and murdered they did so in the name of science or white superiority which made it perfectly O.K. with their hearts.
After the Africans made it to America and were forced to work as slaves, it took many years until white people began to feel they were wrong about the mistreatment of blacks and started movements to free them. After slavery was finally abolished in 1863, another form of hate and discrimination would appear on the scene named Jim Crow.
After Abraham Lincoln had died, every single U.S. President up unto Lyndon Baines Johnson would ignore the Declaration of Independence principle that "All men are created equal" and violated the law of the land by disobeying our U.S. Constitution that guaranteed Negroes first class citizenship with Jim Crow laws. They just refused to accept blacks as equals. Throughout history this was referred to as the "Negro Problem"
It would remain this way until the 1960s Civil Rights movement.
Some of the early Americans who penned the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution which was essentially a moral roadmap for all Americans to live by were honest to true goodness Americans who understood the vision for the United States.
But on the other hand, this true vision of America was too lofty for most whites to follow. They sought only to take from our country for their selfish gains. They considered themselves privileged ones.
But not all were anti-American.
Great men such as Wiliam Whipple who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence was a true American.
During the Revolutionary War period Whipple wrote as follows to Josiah Bartlett, “The last accounts from South Carolina were favorable. A recommendation is gone thither for raising some regiments of blacks. This, I suppose, will lay a foundation for the emancipation of those wretches in that country. I hope it will be the means of dispensing the blessings of Freedom to all the human race in America.” William Whipple
Even though these true Americans like William Whipple didn't particularly like blacks, they were special people because they put their personal feelings on the back burner and American ideals and principles first. William Whipple could not sign the Declaration of Independence and own slaves at the same time, so what did he do? He set his slave free. Many other true early Americans did the same thing.
William Whipple, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence and a true American photo#105-yr-2015
But most American leaders chose to ignore American ideals and principles for their advantage and held on to their slaves, and after slavery was outlawed created illegal laws that made a joke of the U.S. Constitution, and trashed the Declaration of Independence which was anything but being true American and this is the way it remained until the 1960s Civil Rights movement.
Not much has changed. We still have a strong racist element in America and will continue to do so until this dark period in America's history is talked about and hashed out between the races. Many white Americans will probably never change their negative view of blacks which was initiated by erring scientist years ago and continue to pass their hate down from generation to generation.
So what does this have to do with American standards?
America in its infancy was slowly creating a standard that would become admired over the world. Although quickly fading from practice in our day the American standard consisted of honesty in business dealings, promoting fairness, practicing proper relationships, justice, civility, right dress, speech, eating, and anything positive that enriched the community as a whole. Yes, even racist anti-Americans understood and lived by these standards when it didn't conflict with their hate.
Now here's the problem.
With blacks finally attaining enforcement of their civil rights in the 1960s, many didn't quite know which standard to live. Many wondered to themselves, "Should we live under the American standard where many were unkind to us and made us feel unwelcome or continue living under the old Negro standard that was adopted during and after slavery?"
In the following movie, great black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux created a film entitled "Birthright" which was about a well spoken black man named (Peter) who left his Southern roots to go to Harvard and obtain his education. He returned to the south with the hopes of opening up schools to teach the young black kids. He met a beautiful woman (Sissy), and both shared a mutual love interest, and while at a house he was living they had a conversation where she mentioned that since he had an education, he now lived under a different code or (standard) than the other black people in the Southern town. Sissy tells him that since he changed his code (standard) and returned to judge the residents, it wasn't fair. Blacks in the city still lived by the old Negro code or standard. This movie can be found in its entirety on Netflix under (Pioneers of African-American Cinema) There are still many blacks today who live by this old Negro code or standard.
What's a Negro standard?
Many blacks took pride in being different from white America, even down to this day. So during slavery we created our special language to communicate with each other (AAVE), our flashy style of dress, our own and unique way we dealt with one another, it's a standard white people just wouldn't understand, and we loved it because it belonged to us. It's how we survived for decades.
Did blacks hold onto the old Negro standard after the Civil Rights movement?
After the 60s, it wasn't easy trying to blend in and assimilate into the American way of doing things, especially when you know there are ones that hate you. It could be very discouraging. It was especially hard on our black men. But happily many blacks made the smart choice of choosing the American standard, even though they knew they would be called Uncle Toms or sellouts by members of our race for trying to act white or like the enemy as they saw it.
These people were wise because they understood just like the slaves of old what this country was founded on and this gave them strength to live as true Americans. They could care less about racist whites and their hate for us or the foolish blacks who would say bad things about them. They remembered true American brothers like William Whipple and made their mind to follow the American standard of living.
Now if these blacks had stayed in the old Negro standard, they would have been left behind. You cannot blend the American standard with the old Negro standard. It would never work, and that goes for others such as Mexicans, Chinese, Middle Eastern, etc. We all must live by one standard way of doing things in America, even if we may hate one another.
So, if one from the old Negro standard wants to achieve it would be a mistake to look at it as trying to be white. No, we are working to be better Americans, true Americans. Browse through this website and learn about the countless number of blacks who died so that we could attempt this.
After the Civil Rights movement when whites were finally able to have contact with blacks through the event of integration many came to the realization that blacks were not much different than themselves. We're all humans, not like those crazy racist scientists preached as fact years ago to ruin America. They have much blood on their hands.
We must achieve and become victorious even under the bad hand of white racist which without a doubt we will encounter on our American journey. The only difference is today; it's not out in the open like it once was.
But on the other hand, we will also encounter the William Whipple's of the world. How do you think we elected a black President? It couldn't have been accomplished without white people. That in a sense was William voting for our first black president. So when issues arise, don't hate America, if you must hate at all hate the actions of the anti-American racist who reside in her.
We can't let anyone hold us back from achieving our dreams which wouldn't make any sense believing "I'm gonna waste my life away with selfish pleasure seeking because of the white man, and also my homies will call me a sellout if I attempt to better myself." which is the thinking from the old Negro standard.
We must all strive to be sharp, smart, successful and proud African Americans living under American standards because it's the best in the world and many of our ancestors died for the opportunity we have today.
So to answer the above question, are all men created equal? It depends on who point of view you take. If you look through the eyes of racist anti-American people, then we are not created equal, but if you look at it through the eyes of true Americans, yes without a doubt we are all created equal and share mutually in achieving in America which is the greatest country in the world.
I think I'll look at it through the eyes of true America, like our friend and American brother William Whipple.
United States Census for African Americans in the 2000s
Our Community in 2003 Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
June 24, 2003 - appearing on the BET Awards, James Brown received the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Michael Jackson and would perform with him.
December 7, 2003 - James Brown was a recipient of Kennedy Center Honors.
December 13, 2003 - Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit.
2000s - The United States Population is 281,421,906 with a total of 34,658,190 being African Americans.
How did religion begin for the American Negro?
Well, it was an exciting journey for sure, but as usual, we have to go back into history for the likely answer. Before arriving in America as slaves, generally speaking, our ancestors practiced a religion which included fetishism.
What is fetishism you may ask?
Traditional Benin Voodoo Dance
Fetishism is a man-made object (such as the doll aound the lady's neck in the picture) that is thought to have power over others. Africans were extremely superstitious in their native land.
But once exposed to religious teachers in America, quickly left their superstitious past behind them, and would frown upon new arrivals of Africans who practiced fetishism in religion.
In Europe, the Roman Catholic Church had lost their grip on people with their questionable religious practices. There were many who thought the Church was wrong and formed a protest or a Protestant Reformation that resulted in the creation of tons of different religions with their doctrines and teachings claiming to be Christian.
A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views
that relate humanity to an order of existence.
Episcopal, Jesuits, Methodists, Protestant, Anglican, Lutheranism, Calvinism, Presbyterianism, Wesleyanism were all against Roman Catholic teachings.
But there would be a new religion on the horizon for humanity that went by the name of science. The introduction of science was in many ways entirely different than Christianity because it taught man to believe and rely on himself and his creations, rather than on a Supreme Being he couldn't see.
Faith is something foreign and unbelievable to a scientist. Also, this new form of religion would give these believers complete moral authority to do as they wished without a guilty conscience or retribution from a Surpreme Being.
This is what made slavery right or moral in the eyes of so many whites because new science taught that whites were superior and blacks inferior. The theory of evolution is another example in clear teaching that the world exists because of a big bang instead of being created, and also man evolved from apes rather than being created.
Do you believe in Evolution? If so, evolution is your religion because mainstream religion and evolution just don't jive, it's either one or the other.
During slavery, most of the first black congregations and churches were founded by free blacks, but slaves learned about Christianity by attending services led by a white preacher or supervised by a white person. Slaveholders often held prayer meetings at their plantations. Methodist and Baptist were the preferred choices of slaves because of its message.
But after slavery blacks were still restricted in the white churches so what they did next is not a surprise. They began to form their churches free from white rulership and exclusion, but kept the doctrine and teachings, but of course with a more lively twist (singing and dancing). It's clear they still had African culture in their hearts. This would mark the beginning of a new American creation, the black church.
The following is a very brief history of religion in Black America:
William J. Seymour - photo#111-yr-2015
Charles Fox Parham an independent holiness evangelist who believed strongly in divine healing, was an important figure in the emergence of Pentecostalism as a distinct Christian movement. But it wasn't until one of his black students named William J. Seymour learned these teaching and took it back to California with him that the Pentecostal movement took off like wildfire.
Seymour's preaching sparked the famous three-year-long Azusa Street Revival in 1906. Worship at the racially integrated Azusa Mission featured an absence of any order of service. (whites would later dislike this) People preached and testified as moved by the Spirit, spoke and sung in tongues, and fell in the Spirit. Blacks whites and other races would attend these services. But there was a matter of Jim Crow to be kept in mind that made it illegal for blacks and whites to mix.
So whites broke away from Seymour and began their Pentecostal churches. It's a fact that the beginning of the widespread Pentecostal movement in the United States is considered to have started with one-eyed black preacher William J. Seymour's Azusa Street Revival.
The Church Of God in Christ (COGIC) -
Church Of God in Christ Baptism photo#112-yr-2015
The Church Of God in Christ was formed in 1897 by a group of disfellowshiped Baptists, most notably Charles Price Jones (1865–1949) and Charles Harrison Mason (1866–1961) and is a Pentecostal Christian denomination with a predominantly African-American membership. It ranks as the largest Pentecostal denomination and the fifth largest Christian denomination in the U.S. Evangelical Baptist, and Methodist preachers traveled throughout the South in the Great Awakening of the late 18th century and appealed directly to slaves, and a few thousand slaves converted. Early COGIC leaders were very much attracted by the Pentecostal message and would break from the Baptist for this reason.
A.M.E. Church -
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, is a predominantly African-American Methodist denomination based in the US. It is the oldest independent Protestant denomination founded by blacks in the world. It was founded by the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the mid-Atlantic area that wanted independence from white Methodists.
Baptists are individuals who comprise a group of denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism) and that it must be done by complete immersion (as opposed to affusion or sprinkling). Other tenets of Baptist churches include soul competency (liberty), salvation through faith alone, Scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice, and the autonomy of the local congregation. Baptists recognize two ministerial offices, pastors, and deacons. Baptist churches are widely considered to be Protestant churches, though some Baptists disavow this identity.
An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim. Jews felt like they were chosen people who were promised a land filled with milk and honey, a holy land. This promise was made to Abraham and his seed. Abraham's wife Sarah had trouble conceiving children so to keep the promise alive and in the family she chose Hagar who was an Egyptian handmaid to have sexual relations with Abraham to bear a son, which is what they did. This son's name was Ishmael.
But something happened later that would throw things into a tizzy. At a very old age Sarah was now able to have kids and bore a son named Isaac.
Now here's the problem. Does the promise belong to Sarah's son or Hagar's son? Sarah felt it belonged to her bloodline, so she sent Hagar and Ishmael into the wilderness for them to die. But guess what? They didn't die. Muhammad who was the final prophet sent by God as identified in the Quran was born within Ishmael's seed line.
So even to this day these two groups don't care for each other.
This religion by far has proven to be the most destructive for humankind. Its users have created a world of me, me, me, by magnifying themselves, sincerely believing they are all of that and a bag of chips. Also the belief that spirited competition is healthy and useful. Win at all cost! The survival of the fittest theory. Many genocides were accomplished in the name of science. It teaches us that man originates from apes, (many blacks lost their life because of this false teaching) the earth was created from nothing and in essence humans are their gods. The bad far outweighs the good with the practice of science. Just look around.
By Associated Booking Corporation/photo by James Kriegsmann, New York (eBay frontback) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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